Skip to content
Home » The Complete Guide to Strategic Marketing

The Complete Guide to Strategic Marketing

In Brief

Strategic marketing is the way of conducting marketing in a fully integrated and dynamic way. It connects with your other business components like the business strategy, the product development, the sales, the competitive landscape etc.

Strategic marketing is obsessed with competitive advantage. Indeed, strategic marketing aims at identifying, communicating and maintaining a major differentiating point for your business. This is based on one or several pillars among the classic marketing 4 P’s. these are: Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

Several concrete examples are provided regarding the application of strategic marketing. This aims to differentiate it clearly with respect to classic marketing and marketing management. 

Let’s start by the big picture


I beg your patience on this one, let me introduce a definition of marketing before diving into strategic marketing.

Marketing is the discipline that organizations use in order to build their brand image, create awareness and generate leads.

With marketing, you aim to convince people that you understand their problems. And that you have the right and unique solution for it and that it works.

This marketing journey is generally done through events, content and case studies.

Definition of strategic marketing

That’s marketing, what about strategic marketing now ?

Simply put, strategic marketing is the fact of connecting your marketing efforts with all the other stacks of your business. This is a fully dynamic and iterative process.

Let me be more concrete on this. For example, marketing is strategic when it’s defined with respect to the general strategy, vision and mission of your business.

Let me be even more concrete. Let’s take the example of an e-Learning platform that teaches the business of luxurious watches to its audience. The mission of this platform is to provide the knowledge, tools and hints to anyone in this business, to be operational upon the completion of the training.

The marketing of this platform should also have a clear and strategic view about the competitive landscape. This awareness makes the marketing messaging very aware of what is already existing in the market, hence defines and communicates clearly the differentiators of your solution to your customers.

Such a platform should connect the strategy and action plan of its marketing to this main mission and competitive landscape. This is simply strategic marketing. It’s in other words the fact of making your marketing communicating in a dual sense with all your other business components.

This connection defines directly what is the typical audience of interest, how to speak to them, where to find them etc.

The dynamic aspect of strategic marketing

These questions and their related answers follow dynamically the feedback and assessments that this platform will do when it will release its first marketing actions.

In this framework, market research is closely tied to strategic marketing.

Indeed, in order to establish sharply and efficiently these questions and their related answers, your primary weapon for it is continuous market research. This aims at maintaining a nearly real time connection with your market.

Strategic marketing is closely tied to the notion of strategic planning. The latter stands for building and maintaining a continuous consistency between your vision and your action plan by taking into account numerous factors at the same time in an interactive way.

It comes after strategic marketing which comes after the vision and mission statements of your business. On the other hand, marketing management comes after strategic planning.

Indeed, marketing management is simply the fact of executing and controlling the progress of the defined strategic marketing plan.

Once all these parts are defined and set up, sequentially, a dynamic interaction should be maintained between them based on continuous feedback that you gather from your market and your customers.

That’s the big picture about strategic marketing !

Strategic marketing and competitive advantage

Why competitive advantage is important

Strategic marketing is obsessed with the notion of competitive advantage. Indeed, the notion of differentiation encompasses all the value that strategic marketing brings to your business.

Competitive advantage is how to position your products or services in the market with respect to the competition. Which place do they occupy in the market, which market segment do they target and do you differentiate them with respect to what is already existing.

The differentiation can correspond to 4 main origins, that are the 4 main components of the marketing mix or 4P’s which are: Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

Case study

Let’s take a concrete example to illustrate this. Let’s take the example of an online agency for cyber security. The product is to provide expertise and consulting services regarding cyber security. The price is a premium price that is on average 25% higher than the competition. The promotion is to offer 2 months of free services for each engaged year and 1 extra free month for each extra year signed upfront. 

Finally the place is the real differentiator for this business. Indeed, this cyber security agency provides its services 100% online hence is reachable on a 24/7 basis. It focuses on cyber security services for cloud deployments hence can operate without the need of being on premises.

This is a great advantage for SMEs and large enterprises that need both a flexible and instantaneous intervention when it comes to cyber security services. And this is how this cyber security agency is differentiating itself from the competition.

Indeed, even if the product, price and promotion are not highly innovative, the Place of delivering the service is bringing the competitive advantage to this agency.

Consequently, the competitive advantage can focus on one single component among the 4P’s instead of all of them at the same time.

Then the strategic marketing process should be finely orchestrated in order to serve that purpose of building the competitive advantage around this particular point.

Hence all the communication, banners, copywriting and even logo of this cyber security agency will turn around this crucial differentiator.

The main components of strategic marketing

During its implementation, strategic marketing encompasses 4 main axes that are:

  • Analyzing the environment: This step consists in identifying the environment where the business evolves, the competitive landscape, the customers personas or typical profiles.
  • Identifying the opportunities and threats: This step comes from the previous one. Indeed, once the environment is analyzed efficiently, numerous opportunities and threats start to appear. In this step, the most important ones should be identified and explored further through deeper interviews and surveys for instance.
  • Forecasting the future trends: If forecasting accurately the future is the dream of humanity since its existence, it’s because it provides you with an undeniable advantage with respect to the other mortals. This is definitely not an invitation to you for learning black magic but simply to outline that there are Data Science and Data Mining tools that make wonders today especially when it’s based on high quality data.
  • Setting up the strategy and related action plan: Once the picture is clear to you thanks to the previous steps, and since you come at this level with a first version of your vision and mission, you know at this point where you are and where you want to be. The strategy and action plan are simply the roadmaps between these 2 points.
  • Implement, control and correct: The main two strengths of strategic marketing are: First, to connect to the other components of your business, and second, to be very dynamic and continuously updated with respect to the newest outcomes and results. This final step aims at binding the whole process in order to achieve the highest levels of efficiency and impactfulness to your business.

Strategic marketing executed badly

In order to go further with this notion of strategic marketing and differentiate it clearly from classic marketing or marketing management, let’s take one bad and one good example of executed strategic marketing.

In the bad example, let’s take the example of an e-commerce store that sells premium and highly innovative backpacks.

These backpacks are able to be securely closed. Contain usb recharger for the phones and electronics pads. In addition, they are beautiful. Pretty good stuff !

On the other hand, the executives of this business are convinced that what makes their customer purchase is the versatility of functions that their backpack offers. They just suppose that assumption without doing any further market research about it.

The consequence of this disconnection between the product development and the marketing department, is that the promotions and advertisements are still focusing on this versatility of features.

What if 80% of the purchasing actions were executed because of one single feature, for example the security arguments. Wouldn’t it be more strategic in this case to build all the marketing communication in the future releases of this product around that particular benefit ?

Strategic marketing done the right way

Let’s take the example of an online agency for growth hacking. This company has the mission of exploding the marketing presence of new digital startups at a fraction of the classic marketing budgets.

This agency does not communicate explicitly the term of Growth Hacking in its daily communication because it’s still relatively a new term and discipline.

Instead, it speaks about highly innovative, efficient and low cost digital marketing tools and solutions for duplicating one’s digital presence and awareness.

Hence it builds a clear differentiation with respect to the plethora of already existing digital marketing agencies in the market.

It’s also shaping all its marketing communication and campaigns around that specific differentiator. 

In addition, once the continuous market research will show that there is a part of its leads that is sensitive to the notion of growth hacking, then it will employ that term openly for an even deeper differentiation.

Once this term will be very common, then the communication will be focused on a particular specialty among the growth hacking components in order to preserve a continuous differentiation among its ecosystem.

This is how strategic marketing is performed in a continuously dynamic way !


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Strategic Marketing”

  1. Pingback: 5 Strategies for Monetizing Your Data Science Knowledge

  2. Pingback: The 3 Ultimate skillsets in the Data Industry that you should master

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *